Ancient Egypt

INTRODUCTION:
Around 5000 BC, the Nile valley inhabitants adopted the agricultural village life. By 3500 these agricultural communities formed alliances that eventually evolved into a central state around 3000BC. Egypt was ruled by a succession of dynasties (ruling families) for the next 3000 years. Despite the guesswork and inaccuracies, the general outline of the chronology has not changed very much in the past
3100- 2600 Predynastic, Old c.2600s-2100s, First Intermediate 2100-2000; Middle c.2000s-1600s, Second Intermediate 1600s- 1500s; New c.1500's-1000s; Third Intermediate 1000-332
(During the Intermidiate period, the Persians invade and colonize Egypt from 525 to 332BC.)
Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) invades Egypt in 332 ending what is known as "Pharaonic Egypt".
332-31 Ptolemaic Period (Alexander's generals rule after his death)
30BC-646AD:Roman Province 639-646 Arabs invade Egypt
The earliest examples of ancient Egyptian writing have been dated to 3400BC.
Social, economical, and political order: Ancient Egyptian society comprised hundreds of village communities, under a central unifying rule. There were no cities in the proper sense of the word. Egypt was the first unified state in history. Its economy was agricultural based on land ownership. Egypt's economy was not a slave-based economy.
Worldview: Optimistic, benevolent gods dominate a stable cosmos.
This worldview developed as a reflection of the unchanging, life-giving constancy of the Nile.
Belief: Polytheistic; the gods guarantee a stable cosmos with the help of the divine king
Art:
Content: Ritualistic, funerary and political.
Style: Stylized, geometrically conceived; in painting and relief sculpture the figure is depicted from most characteristic viewpoints: profile heads, frontal shoulders, and frontal eyes. In high relief and freestanding sculpture the figure is rendered block like in order to convey a static, therefore timeless, look. Completeness and exactness were preferred to prettiness.
Purpose: Statues served as habitat for the soul (ka) after death. Representation of figures was creating, in the true sense of the word, objects that functioned as meaningful parts of the cult of the gods and the dead, and the burial ceremonies. Paintings were often made to depict the deceased journey to the afterlife, and/or scenes from this life (in meticulous details) to accompany the deceased into the afterlife and make his "everlasting stay" more pleasant. Clear and simple lines combined with flat areas of shapes and color evoked a sense of order and balance
Patronage: The temple was the main employer of the artist and priests strictly controlled the art style. That is why ancient Egyptian style remained virtually unchanged for 3000 years: conservatism and stability were more valued than progress and change.

Vocabulary:
Clerestory row of windows in the upper part of a wall under a roof
Post-and Lintel Architectural system of construction with two or more vertical elements (posts) supporting a horizontal element (lintel).
Colonnade row of columns supporting a lintel for example, like in a porch or a portal.
Column Architectural element for support and/or decoration consisting of base, cylindrical shaft and a capital
Composite view Figures depicted from many points of view (perspectives)
Conceptual (or stylized) depiction mostly based on an idea.
Perceptual (or naturalistic) depiction mostly based on a visible nature.
Hieratic scale Using size to indicate the importance of the figure
Hypostyle hall large interior whose roof is supported by many closely spaced columns and/or pillar
Sanctuary a sacred place such as a church, templeā€¦ etc. From the Latin sanctuarium, words ending with arium mean container or keeping, in this case a holy thing: sancta.
Stele Upright stone slab with carved image and/or writing
Pharoah originally referred to the king's palace "Great House" later became a form to address the king. (Like we refer to the White House as the president or the Pentagon as the government.)

Images/
Rosetta Stone
Ptolemaic period, diorite, 45x29x12 inches, containing text in hieroglyphic, demotic and Greek about repealing taxes and commissioning temple statues, it was found in 1799, deciphered by Young and Champollion by 1822.
All dates below are BC unless otherwise indicated
PREDYNASTIC (c.3000-2600, Dyn 1-3)
Palette of Narmer Hierakonopolis (Pre-dynastic) Dyn.1 c.3000
Artistic conventions are already established in this early 2 ft. palette-shaped stone, low relief sculpture, found (in 1897AD) in a Horus temple in the ruins of the ancient town of Nekhen 70 miles north of Aswan. On the obverse side of the palette, hieratic scale signals the importance of Narmer by showing him larger than other figures. He is also silhouetted